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The Stream

News/Business. Wajahat Ali. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)



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Nelson Mandela 15, Us 10, Miami 5, Harlem 4, Gandhi 4, United States 3, New York 3, The City 2, Africa 2, Smith 2, Endians 1, Stephen 1, Trance Africa 1, Excite 1, Riverside 1, India 1, Africans 1, Anc 1, Indians 1, Amc 1,
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  Al Jazeera America    The Stream    News/Business. Wajahat Ali.  
    (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    December 5, 2013
    7:30 - 8:01pm EST  

>> we 11ed just a few hours ago that nelson mandela had passed away. the at the time is still a shock, and it is a great shock.
>> thank you for having us, and i want to send out condolences on behalf of the family. where condolences to the family, and also to the people of south africa. the biggest thoughts are trucage, humility, somebody's great vision, passion, for life. and they are not saying any minute to do good. i apologize for not calling it the right time, trance africa. what was it like to meet him? >> oh, everything that was more than -- and i knew it would be anxious, and excited and dealing
with -- more tremendous then i have half. a meeting with him. and just anything that is said about him, even after the meeting you just multiply it even more. the man is a great leader, but with humility, somebody who was able to bring together many many different people together. >> also being able to articulate his prince. s. his passions. but at the sate time, being able to emphasize with others. and it takes this tremendous person to do that. so everything people are saying about is really
just -- it is hard to -- there's no exaggeration. >> in the united states and around the world, he meant so much to so many, talk about that. >> yeah, one of the things that -- what he showed the rest of is world, particularly also the african world, essentially the african don't innocent that they were coming out of colonization, and then you had this man that was willing to stay in prison poise people, and make sure that his freedom the freedom of the people. and that is transcended not just the movement in the continent -- the movement in africa. but all over the world.
was willing to die for his people for a greater cause, i think that's why you see all the adore ration, and the sadness, even though as we said earlier, we knew it was going to go, we now we all have to go sooner or later. and he did so much for not just south africa, but the entire world. and that's why it has meant so much. it wasn't just about the struggle but even because of what -- after he stepped down, he embarked upon a campaign against aids and very involved in that gave up his saltry for children.
>> that's brought a hospital for children, have better access to medicine, in africa. >> unformingly -- having some technical problems. we thank you for joining us and for your insight. let's go back to harlem, jonathan martin standing by with a special guest, jonathan? >> we are live here, many people remember nelson mandela visited new york, harlem in particular. in 1990, it was a huge deal out here. and i am here with mr. billy mitchell y i have been here 47 years so you have been here a long long time. and you remember when mr. mandela came here. >> i do. i remember it was a day of joy for those of us that were here, we felt
very very proud. i was standing on top of the apollo marque. and the motorcade was bringing mr. mandela up. i remember having binoculars in my hand, it really felt good. for a lot of us here it gave us a sense of hope, that finally something positive was being done in the world. that relates to us. i know some guys that got their life together just by nelson mandela visiting. they felt this sense of i have to get myself together, time is wasting. let me do my thing. and i think it was fitting that he came to harlem. where he saw his people. it was almost like a little reunion. nothing but blackness, he saw his people, felt good, gave some positive messages. he was at riverside
church. it was a wonderful time. >> and only fitting that y'all put this marque up tonight in memory of nelson mandela, because when he was here, that marque was such a big part of his visit as well. >> that's true. when he came in 1990, he had just gotten out of prison, and we had up on the marque, welcome home mr. and mrs. nelson mandela. so we were welcoming them home. we have a lot of memories. we have to be mindful of and carry on, and apartheid is gone in this country. he became the president. i mean that's just something in itself. spending all that time in jail, and he would not give up, he would not give in, and he was steadfast. we could all learn something from these examples. >> right. with the apollo theater, thank you so much.
really finding out for some people, and just sharing some memories. continue to talk to people and share those stories back to you. >> sot great many stories, thank you very much. he said, nelson mandela was a stranger to hate. he favored reconciliation. rereligious wishing his office and ensuring there would be a safe transfer of power. he is the president and ceo of the urban league, and we are pleased to have you with us tonight. share you feelings. >> nelson mandela was indeed one of the most influential people in the 20th century.
and it's important to remember his journey from an activist lawyer who was jailed for 27 years. who emerged to become a head of state. transition to the multiracial democracy that it represents. i think it is important the movement that he led, to understand that he was a catalyst of international movement to free south africa, south africa becoming the land of the african neigh to achieve, if you will, a sense of democracy, and political independence. and nelson mandela during those years that he was jailed, in the 1960's, the 1970's, and the 1980's, inspired many.
offs young student, in law school, inspired by nelson mandela, we took up the cause of a free south africa push for diff versement. led to sanctions be passed not there p when he visited harlem, and new york, it was a tour other in the united states to say the people that were supported the freedom movement and supported his freedom, as he was free, it was the beginning of that transition to democracy. sympathy and prayers to his family, to the people of south africa for an incredible life, an inspirational life.
a great man, a giant. >> thank you for taking the time to join us tonight, we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> alli standing by, i have learn add lot about nelson mandela tonight, but i have learned a lot about you as well, and your background. >> yeah. >> talk a little bit about that. >> yes, my family went to south africa at the turn of the the last my great grandfather and gandhi were good friends. they decided to build a school, and asked my great grandfather if my grandfather who was his son could go to the school. ten my grandfather was gandhi's youngest student at the school. all the students at the school, p as thigh grew
up, they would go to jail. go in the nonwhite door of a train station and get arrested. the police would be on the other side, and they didn't mind staying in jail, because it was like how they grew up, the same thing with the africans they didn't grow up with anything fantastic, so jail didn't hurt them. nelson mandela picked up that movement, at the anc. he was influenced by gandhi, and as that movement continues after gandhi went back to india, my family continues as part of the antiapartheid movement. and lost business as a result of they role. but we returned my family returned before the election, were were all given citizen ship. i am a sout african citizes
well. and we have shared in this new beginning, which everybody looses hope in, but the fact is nelson mandela avoidedded a blood bath a civil war, and he create add remarkable nation. >> he spent time with the african national congress when it was in excite, stephen, give us your thoughts tonight. >> well, it is a very sad moment. this was a great man. it was true, in some ways her understated not just to dignity, and not just perseverance. but what he was able to exhibit when he took the country forward. there would be no rainbow nation today. i think he was essential for the progress of south
africa to becoming what we would regard today as the civilized part of the world. >> obviously he had a huge impact while he was alive, what will he mean in the future to the world? >> he will mean a lot to the world as a moral statesman. in south africa, his legacy will be a more mixed one in the immediate days. he will be remembered as a beacon of moral certainty that there could be a bright future, but right now material and economic conditions are degenerating and the party that they led the amc does not have any more vision for the future. thank you for standing by
and waiting for this interview, we appreciate it. talk about what you saw there, the impact of the apartheid and what it meant to you as a outsider. >> he was a remarkably complex infrastructure. everybody spies on everybody. they would arrest people, a random person off the street, they didn't have to hold them on any charge, because the whole idea was the suppression of communism. they were surf plied with arms by the libyans, by the cubans and by the russians so they called each other comrade. the way to fight this is i can arrest you,ky hold you in jail, and not let you go unless you prompt you will snitch on your neighborhood. so they created this entire world, this entire society where everybody was telling on everybody. whites were different from blacks, blacks were different from colored,
they were different from endians, indians and chinese was different, it was this complicated system that pitted everybody against each other, and here nelson mandela has to come out and be a leader of all of these people, and he really went a long way down that road. he told everybody they were beautiful, it wasn't just about black pride, it was about white pride, in a country where these whites had been there for 400 years. it wasn't a signing of a constitution, you had people thinking of certain way and behaving a certain way to keep 95% of the population poor, and unable to be upwardley mobile. and he had to try to modernize this place. >> clearly those people have color understood, but when was it that
other -- that white people understood that? >> the interesting thing people forget in the history of the revolution is is in the end it was a referendum, that only white people participated in, that led to the end of apartheid. that was pressure from around the world, it was sanctions. but in the end they voted themselves out of power, which is why fw, the president at the time, and nelson mandela ended up sharing that nobel peace prize. in the end, something brought the whites around. it may have been threat of civil war, which we have seen play out in a lot of places. would have been bloody and horrible. but some of it maybe there's a future with this guy. the whites had nowhere to go. this is a beautiful
thing, but it came -- >> they shot children in the back. in sharpville, it was horrible. but inside south africa, that media was heavily sanctioned. the world staterred to see it, and only the united states and great britain at the time, held out against sanctions in south africa. today we are their great friend, and south africa refers to americans. >> but not in 1980. >> in those days we were the greatest enemy pass. ronald ragan and mar rat thatcher did everything they could to make sure that he was not a freeman. >> it is valuable to take a trip back in time to get fit someone who saw it through younger person's eyes.
poll sixes refused to welcome him to the city. stage add boycott known as the quiet riot, and natasha joins us live from miami beach with more on that. john, some people consider is this a very dark chapter, not only in the history of miami beach, and miami, but the entire south florida region. that's because half a dozen leaders on top of the governor snubbed him. now, you have to remember on a night like tonight, what their thoughts were more than 20 years later. we would have loved to interview them, but they refused to speak with us. we did speak with a prom minute liter. who put an end to what he calls the nonsenses. the city of miami beach
gave the key to the city to a movie character called robo cop, but that year refused to give a key to the city to one of the most inspiring leaders in world history. when i became mayor, the whole thing seemed juvenile to me, that they refused to issue a proclamation, which they gave to the borner bartender they opened up the new store. >> but six area mayors and the governor denounced the leader after he thanked cuban president fidel castro, the libbuation organization and libyan president mom mar gaddafi for their support of the movement. >> during the darkest day of apartheid the cuban government had provided assistance to the antiapartheid movement specifically. nelson mandela's any
african national congress, and his position was i am not going to denounce anyone who helps me. your enemy, is not necessarily my enemy. >> but the powerful cuban and jewish communities of south florida were outraged. they pressures local leaders to snub mandela. >> it was one of the best days in the history of miami, the one of the worst. because the great nelson mandela came to miami, and we had an opportunity to hear and see this great man personally, unfortunately, his presence here caused a political leaders to none him. >> that in turn, outraged and energized members of the african-american community. organized an african-american led tourist boycott. this so called quiet riot lasted almost three years.
the boycott was harming my city. tremendously, is we lost because -- the black community was furious. >> former miami beach mayor wanted to end the embarrassing and costly chapter in his city's history. it was a fire stone. my best friends stopped me in the street and said how can you do that. there were phone calls. my wife received one that said let him burn, talking about me. i was aware of all the political implications. i didn't give a damn. >> it would be another year before the boycott ended. smith says the boycott was a success. it became leverage to promote greater economic opportunities for
african-americans in the hospitality industry. it also led to the construction of the first african-american owned hotel, and convention center on miami beach. what i learned is that nobody hands you a dream. especially the biggest the dream, the less likely that somebody is going to hand it to you and the big test dream, the bigger the sacrifice. >> . >> smith said mandela forgave his detractors and said he understood where they were coming from. he hopes in the intervening years they too had learned to respect his position, even if they couldn't agree with it. >> he could never shake
off their unwaiverring support at a time when few leaders spoke out. he told the man in the piece that he was impressed although it took about three years he was happy to see this community ultimately came together. hi told me after i met mandela, i was a changed man. i became someone who built bridges. if i imagine before those fortunate enough to have met him, he had that kind of impact. >> joining us here in the studio now is my colleague, al jazeera america digital executive. i'd like to continue the conversation i was having with alley, and get
your point of view about what it was like. why were you moved to do what you did? >> right. >> it's very hard for americans to understand, i think -- or for anybody in rein normal country. only black people you ever have in concert with. black people were not allowed to be in white neighborhoods. and so you -- you live this life that was entirely. it is almost like this alternative universes. >> can you fair it to the days of jim crow and the united states. how do you compare those two? >> i didn't live through it. i think so, i think if it is anything that the
distance is greater. i don't think people have stopped from going downtown, in american cities when they didn't have a job. i think in some ways it was more extreme that kind of special separation, and even often the identity that didn't have a job in the city, they will move the mark. very young, at the age of 12, was a settlement that was just destroyed. there were people that didn't have the right paperwork. in the state not once in there, and he simply put them on track, and drove them off. i knew that it happened. at the same time the people that ran the government the president
has been a member of a underground organization that was part and linked to german intelligence. doing operations on german bell jens. my teachers were pro nazi, you have the sense of who is right and wrong. it is obvious that this absolutely moral outrage. somefect violated -- one of the great leaders and teachers of the 20th century. he conceive as model for mortal enemies to overcome their hatred and find a way through their compassion to overcome -- his passing should reignite a worldwide effort for peace.
we will have more on al jazeera america right after this. >> fault lines investigates...
>> f jazeera america. altes... i'm john siegen hiller in new york. >> . >> celebrating the life of the